HYDERABAD: As cyber bullying is becoming the biggest form of harassment on all popular social platforms, Internet companies are increasingly paying attention to the issue. Many young people experience cyber bullying on a regular basis. Some face extreme forms of online abuse. Some have taken their own lives as a result.
IT companies have a responsibility to protect their users, especially children and young people, says UNICEF. It has also recently released guidelines on how to stop the menace, 10 questions on cyber bullying and preventive measures.
Captain Vineet Kumar of Cyber Peace Foundation, who has been associated with UNICEF on the cyber bullying and online child safety project, says the menace was once confined to institutions at elite places in city areas.
“But now children studying in government institutions, even in rural areas are also facing this. The most worrying aspect is that it has gone to the next level and taken the form of revenge porn,” he said.
According to UNICEF, face-to-face bullying and cyber bullying can often happen on a parallel basis. But cyber bullying leaves a digital footprint - a record that can prove useful and provide evidence to help stop the abuse. When bullying happens online, it can feel as if you’re being attacked everywhere, even inside your own home. It can seem like there’s no escape.
The effects can last a long time and affect a person mentally, physically and emotionally. In extreme cases, cyber bullying can even lead to people taking their own lives. Vineet Kumar also says that cyber bullying is faced by not just children but adults too. “The main reason why it is on the rise is the anonymity that users feel the Internet guarantees, which is actually a myth.”
UNICEF suggests that for bullying to stop, it needs to be identified and reporting it is the key. Further, social media platforms offer different tools to restrict who can comment on or view your posts and to report cases of bullying. Many of them involve simple steps to block, mute or report cyber bullying. “We encourage you to explore them. Also, the first line of defence against cyber bullying could be you,” says UNICEF.
UNICEF releases guidelines to stop online abuse. Says IT companies must protect children. But cyber bullying leaves a digital footprint that can prove useful to help stop the abuse. When bullying happens online, it can feel as if you’re being attacked everywhere, even inside your own home
The complete report can be accessed at: https://www.unicef.org/end-violence/how-to-stop-cyberbullying?utm_campaign=safe-internet&utm_medium=unicef-network&utm_source=referral